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Tue, June 25

Exploring the early West: New Phippen Museum exhibit makes history vibrant

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br>Artist Dave Powell, right, talks with docents, volunteers, and guests about his oil paintings "Yellow Boy & Robes" and "Ware Party Coming" during a preview of the Phippen Museum's Early West Storyteller Exhibit Friday March 1 in Prescott.  The exhibit runs through July 7 at the Marley Gallery inside the Phippen Museum.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br>Artist Dave Powell, right, talks with docents, volunteers, and guests about his oil paintings "Yellow Boy & Robes" and "Ware Party Coming" during a preview of the Phippen Museum's Early West Storyteller Exhibit Friday March 1 in Prescott. The exhibit runs through July 7 at the Marley Gallery inside the Phippen Museum.

Many move to the southwest to explore, and even live, the history of the Old West.

That can include ranch living, horseback riding and perhaps some lessons in lasso-twirling. Others seek to learn more about the region's wilder days.

The "Early West Storyteller" exhibit, on display at the Phippen Museum through July 7, brings the Old West to vibrant life and offers a unique visual tour of America's Western era.

Phippen Museum Curator Lynette Tritel said each piece in "Early West Storyteller" tells a story.

"You will see the journey of Lewis and Clark, and, as you go back through the exhibit - it ends about 1920 - we have (a painting) of two cowboys in a Model T with a trailer. The horse is in back. We go from riding horses to where you want to go, to the point where now we're taking the horse to where we want to go," Tritel said. "There's an appreciation for the paintings, but also for the history."

The exhibit includes John Colemen sculptures and art from Dave Powell, Gerry Metz and others. Metz paid a visit to the museum Saturday to discuss his paintings and give a lecture on the Lewis and Clark expedition. He also signed copies of his new coffee table art book, "The Improbable Journey," which details the Lewis and Clark Expedition from St. Louis to Oregon by way of paintings, sketches, detailed notes and observations.

While he didn't paint in the field, Metz would travel along the path taken by the Lewis and Clark expedition to sketch his ideas and experience the area as the early explorers did. He eventually created more than 60 paintings that are included in his book, alongside some of the sketches he produced in the field.

"I had a little tape recorder with me and put my comments on them, how I felt, what it was like," Metz said.

While the Lewis and Clark expedition took two years, Metz worked on his project for eight years.

"I tried to show what they went through and who they met," he said. "Every time I'd come up with an idea I'd get on a plane and go out there."

The Phippen Museum is located at 4701 Highway 89 North. Cost for admission is $7 for adults, $6 for AAA members, $5 for students with identification, and free for children under 12.

Call 778-1385 for more information or visit www.phippenmuseum.org.

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